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'''Carnivora''' (; from Latin (language)|Latin ''carō'' (stem ''carn-'') "flesh", + ''vorāre'' "to devour") is a diverse Order (biology)|order that includes over 280 species of eutheria|placental mammals. Its members are formally referred to as '''carnivorans''', whereas the word "carnivore" (often popularly applied to members of this group) can refer to any meat-eating organism. Carnivorans are the most diverse in size of any mammalian order, ranging from the least weasel (''Mustela nivalis''), at as little as and , to the polar bear (''Ursus maritimus''), which can weigh up to , to the southern elephant seal (''Mirounga leonina''), whose adult males weigh up to and measure up to in length. Some carnivores, such as Felidae|cats and pinnipeds, obligate carnivore|depend entirely on meat for their nutrition. Others, such as raccoons and bears, depending on the local habitat, are more...
Fossil range{{Geological range|42|0}}Middle Eocene-Holocene
Image width250px
Image captionVarious carnivorans, with feliforms (tiger, spotted hyena and African civet) to the left, and caniforms (brown bear, grey wolf and wolverine) to the right
AuthorityThomas Edward Bowdich|Bowdich (1821)Bowditch, T. E. 1821. An analysis of the natural classifications of Mammalia for the use of students and travelers J. Smith Paris. 115. (refer pages 24, 33)
Subdivision ranksFamily (biology)|Families
Subdivision* Suborder Feliformia
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